3 weeks and counting by Charlie Francis Cassidy

Trigger warning: Self harm and Suicide

Tomorrow will mark 3 weeks in this hospital. I’ve had more bad days then good but that’s why I’m here, right? Anyway, I’ll start from admission. 

I finally got in and saw my psychiatrist not long after. I was immediately weened off the Lexapro and put onto Prestiq. Despite him previously stating that we should avoid SNRIs, it had become clear that I needed some thing stronger to make any kind of dint in my depression. So Prestiq is an SNRI just like Efexor and Cymbalta. It was a choice of one of them and It seemed obvious to choose the one I hadn’t tried. Problem is, like the Efexor, it could cause spikes in my mania.

So we’ve got to keep a close eye on it. I’m now up to 150mg, which he managed to pump me up to pretty quickly. And hello mania, I had forgotten what it was like while I was stuck in my depression. Sometimes it’s great, other times it has way too much agitation attached. And often causes me to feel trapped in here. Not only that but I’m still experiencing my super lows. So I’m all over the shop again. The psychiatrist put up my valproate as well, so that’s 600mg morning and night now. I suppose he’s hoping it’ll help level me out more. But the theory is that the mania is safer than my chronic depression, which nearly caused the end of me,

Another thing he did as soon as I got in was arrange for me to see one of the psychologists who do inpatient work here. Now he had been trying for awhile to find someone who could also bulk bill me since I have basically no money. Private health only gets you so far apparently.

Anyway I started seeing her, pretty skeptical at first as I am with such things. But very willing to try whatever it takes to get me healthy again. Turns out she was the most lovely person and it just clicked. I’ve seen her maybe 4 or 5 times and we’re slowly making progress on things. Such as how I ignore how I’m feeling right up until it’s too much. I have to stop doing that, so I need to check in with myself three times a day. But I can talk more about that later.

Most disappointing thing for me right now is I can’t go home tomorrow. I had overnight stay Tuesday to Wednesday to test how I’d go being released and that didn’t end too well. I was alright for the night, I hadn’t been left alone and I didn’t even think about it.

Then the next day when I was about to be left alone at home I was assuring them I’d be fine but then I started over thinking it. Very quickly I spiralled down not being able to get self harm thoughts out of my head. My mind went foggy and all I felt was pain and I couldn’t stand it. I didn’t want to go back to the hospital either, there’d be no nurse for me and I’d feel like such a failure. In the end someone else came over as well. I started to feel even worse, like I was wasting their time.

They had to stay with me, they couldn’t leave me. In the end I lost my desire to be alive. I just wanted to end it again. I very barely held on enough to remind myself that that wouldn’t make anything easier for them. I don’t always want to be alive, but they want me to be. So I’ll give it all I’ve got to stay that way. That’s why I’m in here.

Breathing or something by Charlie Francis Cassidy

Trigger warning: Self harm and Suicide

Today was an alright day, until it became the worst day. Well, not the worst day really, I just suddenly felt the worst. About as bad as I was before I was last admitted to hospital.

At some point I stopped thinking about consequences of what I wanted to do. Nothing major luckily, but I can’t be sure that will always be the case.

A friend noticed, and helped me to make my room safe again. Something I’ve never had the power to do myself. I always seem to gather a scary collection of sharp objects. I might even be drawn to them.

I can’t decide if I should have checked myself into a hospital, my birthday is coming up and I’d just hate to be in there for it. That would just really be too much for me. Of course if it gets this bad on my birthday night, that’s gonna be no picnic either. 

Today has created a bit of an issue with attending work tomorrow. There is only so long you can wear giant band-aids before it becomes suspicious. In the case of some of my friends, they pick up on it immediately.

I guess it’s a problem for tomorrow. I’ve had my Seroquel for the night so hopefully that kicks in soon. It’s very frustrating not being able to hurt myself when I feel like this. I can’t take the edge off. This is where my psychologist (if I had one) would tell me to breathe or something.

I hear breathing is good. Hard though.

Walking The Line by Charlie Francis Cassidy

Trigger warning: Self harm and Suicide

I’ve always lived my life at extremes, to one degree or the other. I suppose that’s why being diagnosed with Bipolar made a lot of sense to me.

One moment everything can be clear as day, the next nothing makes sense. I spend 2 weeks too depressed to bother with anything, then I spend 2 or 3 with more energy than I know how to handle. I’ll feel hopeless, then like gods gift to the world. All it takes is a heartbeat and I’m someone else, something else.

I once had someone who was once a close friend, later call me out on not being the person she knew. At the time I was confused, I was exactly the person I thought I was. But I think maybe she was right, I had flipped. Of course while she picked up the change, she wasn’t about to believe a mood disorder was the cause. She believed that in my depression, I just wasn’t picking myself up and getting it done. Getting what done? Life, uni, everything. But that’s not the point right now.

I’m on the edge. I know it. I’m being so much more reckless with where I hurt myself.

When I get really bad I just get into this state where I can’t think properly, it’s like a fog or haze in my head. The only thoughts that get through are telling me I just need a release, something to get me to focus.

In high school self harm was mostly viewed as the person seeking attention or wanting/trying to kill themselves. As a result there was a lot of bullying that went down towards anyone who visibly self harmed. Across the street to the hospital, down the road to the morgue. If anyone just cut across their arm they were bullied about attention seeking behaviour, or bad at killing themselves. Anyone with obviously bandaged arms and a history of finding their way to hospital, well unfortunately they were often told they should have done the job properly.

I was quite good at hiding all of my scars. Thighs, shoulders, arms, hips I tried it all. Sometimes the best way to hide a scar is in plain sight. I learnt early that mostly, people are much less observant than you think. Except the people that care about you, they are the most observant. They also know when you’re lying about why you have that band-aid, or that scar.

Tangent aside, I kind of feel like I’m barely holding on here. I’m so caught up with my companies new direction, my other job and the job I just applied for that I think I’m actively avoiding the idea of hospital. Then I have my head that can basically talk me out of or into anything. Mainly out of hospital and taking my meds on time. Should have taken the Seroquel 2 hours ago, but here I am manic and awake as anything instead.

I just don’t know if I should be in hospital, like maybe my head is right or maybe it’s tricking me. Even when I’m in a state and kind of know, this is the time you call the ambulance I realise - I have a pill that’ll knock me right out in an hour. I’ll then wake up next day, while not fantastic I’ll be alive and I’ll be at least a bit further from the edge than I was. So why, when I get worst at night and have this pill, should I need to be in hospital. It’s not just me avoiding it, I somehow feel less entitled. Like I don’t want to take up a bed that someone else needs more than me. Maybe actually, I’m not really having any problems. I’m alive despite it all, I’m stubborn as can be and I’ve got a lot going for me.

I’ve taken my Seroquel now so it should bring me down in an hour. While they’re so far not really helping with the extremes of my mania they’ve certainly made my bed time far more reasonable. Had I taken it on time I’d be asleep round 11. Even now, a 1am bedtime is far better than my usual 3am onwards. Of course that still happens, though far less regularly.